the birds are
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge
There is a place in northwest
Missouri where thousands of migratory birds flock each fall, yellow-billed
pelicans float on pools of water and bald eagles perch high among the
Creek National Wildlife Refuge, a preserved piece of the Missouri River bottoms provides a
winter haven to a vast array of wildlife. The refuge hosts 301 bird
species, 33 mammal species, and 35 reptile and amphibian species.
Franklin D. Roosevelt established the 7,350-acre refuge in 1935 as a resting,
feeding and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The creation
of Squaw Creek Refuge protected a small portion of the Missouri River floodplain
from drainage, so future generations could glimpse the abundance of wildlife
first documented by famed explorers Lewis and Clark.
Today, more than 120,000
guests visit Squaw Creek each year and drive the 10-mile trek that
circles the reserve. During the winter, they can hear a cacophony
of geese and ducks, as well as bald eagles, pelicans, red-tailed hawks
(shown at right), herons, cranes, owls and hundreds of other bird
species. The wetlands range from open pools and mud flats to flooded
woodlands and cattail-filled marshes. Dome-shaped mounds, built by
an abundant population of muskrats, also dot the lakes and make handy
perches for birds.
Squaw Creek National Wildlife
Refuge is open year-round from dusk to dawn and is free to all visitors.
For more information, call (660) 442-3187, or log onto www.fws.gov/midwest/SquawCreek.